Thursday, 31 October 2013

Moving on to Margaret River and Cruising on down to Cape Leeuwin

Thursday 10th October
We headed out along Caves Road with our first stop being Canal Rocks.


It is a really beautiful area and there is a walkway and a boardwalk.


Sadly it was closed but lots of other tourists scrambled over the top of the rocks and walked out further anyway.

We drove through the most gorgeous countryside. There were wineries, Art Galleries, Chocolate and Nougat producers, a cheese maker and numerous farms. Finally we arrived at Cowaramup.
It is a tiny little town with 42 fibreglass cows and calves ‘grazing’ in the main street.


Several shops also incorporate ‘cow’ in their name. I loved it!

After that, it was just a short drive to Margaret River. It is a large tourist town. We went for a bit of a walk and then headed straight out to Big Valley Campsite.
It is a working sheep farm, 11 Kilometres out of town. (Ron was given a flyer about it when we were in Exmouth. It only cost $27.00 per night.)
And included a couple of surprises.
Our first surprise was being parked next to Mary-Ann and Roy who’s Uncle Terry and Aunty Lorain owned Indie before we bought him.
They come from Millmerran and we did meet them briefly in Helensvale just as we were setting out.
Our second surprise was that it really is a working sheep farm and they are in the middle of shearing at the moment.

It was really interesting (if indeed a little smelly and definitely very noisy) to watch the shearers in action. The farm has about 2,800 sheep.
Ron and I went over to the fire pit for sundowners with Roy and Mary-Ann and three other couples. There were a couple of French Back Packers as well. It was a great time with lots of chatting and laughing. I have missed that of late.
Friday 11th October
We had thought of staying on another day and since I did not even get up till around 10 o’clock, it was pretty much a foregone conclusion that we would stay. I think we were pretty well worn out from our last few adventurous days. I went and paid our money and settled down to doing my diary while I could still remember what we had done.
Before we knew where we were, it was time to sit around the fire again.
All the usual suspects were there again: Ron, Wendy, Mary-Ann, Marion and Xavier, Graham, Roy, Rob and Trish.
Saturday 12th October
Mary-Ann and Roy dropped by this morning to say goodbye and invited us to stay on their property at Millmerran if we are in the area. Later I went and bought a dozen eggs from Shelly who owns the farm so we know they are fresh, and we headed off.
We drove through Witchcliffe to Karridale and then turned off to Hamelin Bay. It has a beautiful beach and is home to lots of Stingrays (but we didn’t see any).

The cliffs in the area are all limestone and the remains of the old jetty can be seen from the walkway. The photo next to me shows the original jetty and the heading on the board ‘Relic of Past Prosperity’, seems to describe us both (he he he).

From there, it was off to Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse.
Built in 1835, it is the tallest Lighthouse on mainland Australia and is quite an impressive structure. To climb to the viewing deck consists of 176 steps (about 175 too many for these little black ducks, so we walked around the grounds).
On the path up to the lighthouse sits ‘Moorine Marauder’, one of the cows from ‘Cow Parade’, the world’s largest public art event, staged in 2010.  She is gorgeous!

Cape Leeuwin, Latitude 34°22´S Longitude 115°08´E, marks the point where the Indian Ocean meets the Southern Ocean.
Ron insisted I stand on the Southern Ocean side because cold and bitter matches my personality while he is warm and sunny like the Indian Ocean?????? 

Whichever way you look, it is pretty wild down there!
We adjourned to Indie for lunch and then made our way down the hill to the site of the old water wheel.
As we clambered over the rocks to get there, Ron got a bit arty, farty with the lighthouse in the background.

The wheel was built in 1895 to supply water for the builders of the lighthouse and later the lighthouse keepers’ cottages. The wheel is now encrusted in calcified lime.

Then we were off East at last! Heading towards the East coast of Australia. We have made our way as far as (289) Canebreak Rest Area (a freebie)! And it is so pretty.




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